Anyone who knows me well will think "Caitlin... Anna and the French Kiss? That doesn't really sound like a book you would enjoy..." Well, maybe it doesn't, but I have discovered recently that there are books out there that aren't "my type" that are still really excellent and therefore fun to read anyway.
Besides, the Internet was raving about this book. John Green was raving about this book. I had to get it and read it after praise like that.
And you know what? Anna and the French Kiss totally deserves all that praise. Anna is a witty and likable character who pulls you into the story from the very first page. I mean literally from the first page - the moment I started reading, I was so completely hooked that I stayed up until 3 am to finish the book. I loved her internal dialogue, her comments about how little she knew about France and her comments about getting to know it, the fact that she was a film afficionado and thus there was a Roman Holiday reference in the book. There were maybe one or two brief moments nearer the end where I wanted to roll my eyes and say "Gosh, Anna, it isn't all about you," but those moments passed quickly and I just kept flying through the pages.
Also, Etienne St. Clair, the designated love interest? Wow. He is just so great. And a history nerd! As a fellow history nerd, I loved all the moments when he would go off on a random history tangent. Although, perhaps one of the only things in the book that truly irked me was this: he is an American kid with a French name and a British accent (As Anna says when she meets him: "Anna confused."). Okay, fine - no better way to make your hero attractive than to give him a British accent. Fine by me! But occasionally (and, I thought, not really consistently) he would say "me" instead of "my." "I love me mum," and such. But nothing else about his speech patterns suggested a Cockney accent to me - and also, when you think "sexy British accent," Cockney does not tend to be at the top of the list, does it? It wasn't a big thing at all, but I found it slightly jarring.
I think my favorite part was the chapter composed of emails between Anna and Etienne; both their voices came out really clearly in those emails and it was JUST SO SWEET. To quote John Green, this book really is made of "sweetness and funny and awesome." If you were thinking of reading it, definitely do so. And if you were not thinking of reading it, well, you should start thinking about it.